Phoenix Motorcars delivers zero-emission Z400 shuttle bus to UCHRA

April 17, 2023
The shuttle will serve Tennessee Tech and is the first all-electric vehicle to be operated outside of an urban area in Tennessee.

Phoenix Motorcars delivered an all-electric, zero-emission Z400 shuttle bus to Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) in partnership with Tennessee Technological University (Tennessee Tech). The shuttle was built on a Ford E-450 chassis powered by Phoenix Motorcars and will serve the campus. The electric vehicle was funded in part by Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Technologies Office. It is owned by UCHRA and is the first all-electric vehicle to be operated outside of an urban area.

The project was headed by a team of dedicated faculty and graduate students led by Pingen Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tennessee Tech.

“We are proud to have the very first electric shuttle bus anywhere outside of a major Tennessee city. Working with UCHRA, we fought through a lot of challenges and, in the end, showed our persistence and resiliency in making it happen,” Chen said.

UCHRA and Tennessee Tech plan to use the electric shuttle for a variety of uses, including providing on-campus transportation for students, faculty and guests over the coming weeks before eventually transitioning the vehicle for use throughout the city of Cookeville. Chen and UCHRA say that, in addition to being more environmentally friendly, riders can expect a quieter travel experience on the electric shuttle bus compared to gas-powered vehicles. The electric shuttle is also projected to have a lower total cost of ownership, which includes not only the up-front purchase cost, but also operational and maintenance costs.

The Phoenix Motorcars Z400 shuttle is equipped with a 125-kWh battery pack, offering up to 130-mile range and can be fully charged in approximately two to three hours with a 50-kW Level III charger.

“Phoenix Motorcars is thrilled to have partnered with Tennessee Tech, UCHRA, Creative Bus Sales and TDOT to bring the first all-electric zero-emission shuttle bus to rural Tennessee. We are so excited to be a part of this project and bring our zero-emission technology to life in such a beautiful part of the country. We hope this collaboration sparks a new trend for green transportation in Tennessee and look forward to continuing our support of this project and our partners,” said Thomas Allen, vice president of sales at Phoenix Motorcars.